New Americana Jam From Case Studies

CaseStudies_1At this point it’s probably not fair to refer to Jesse Lortz as the guy who used to head Dutchess & The Duke, but rather as the main man behind folky rock group Case Studies.  After debut release The World is Just a Shape to Fill the Night dropped a couple of years ago, it was clear that Lortz was ready to move on to bigger and better things.  Today marks the first new music since that release in the form of this new driving rock, almost bluesy tune “Driving East, and Through Her”.  I’m into it.

Fans should mark their calendars on June 11th for the release of new album This is Another Life via Sacred Bones.

More New Music from Case Studies

There’s been a lot of people getting really excited about Case Studies, the new project from former Dutchess and the Duke member Jesse Lortz. His first record under the moniker, The World is Just a Shape to Fill the Night, will be out August 16th via Sacred Bones.  This track below is just another in the slew of tracks floating around the Internet promoting Jesse’s new band. I like the playfulness in Jesse’s songwriting, or at least its straight-ahead approach to writing lyrics.  Good to see the guy still knows how to write a great track!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/04-You-Folded-Up-My-Blanket-Like-We-Were-Already-Lovers.mp3]

Download: Case Studies – You Folded Up My Blanket Like We Were Already Lovers [MP3]

Those Darlins – Screws Get Loose

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Despite releasing an album back in 2009, Those Darlins are still a band that has been flying under the radar. However, I don’t see them staying in that predicament for long after this work catches fire.

If the album art wasn’t enough of a clue, the instant you press play on this album, it’s clear that this is a playful, blunt, edgy and full out rock and roll fest. “Screws Get Loose,” the title and opening track is probably the best song that you’ll come across when things are all said and done. While normally it’s not necessarily a good sign for the best song to come first, it doesn’t hurt Those Darlins because all of the songs are decent. Its appeal begins with the jangle of the opening procession and continues to the classic garage punk sound. The grit of the feminine lead vocals is perfect in that it doesn’t fall into the sugary category that everyone else seems to be going for these days.

These punk vocals are also vital in convincing listeners that all the female narrator wants to do is “Be Your Bro” on the second number from Those Darlins. On this track, this band establishes themselves as people who could very well be your friends. Their songwriting (not just on this song) is simple and relatable; since it’s easy to discern what the band is discussing it quickly becomes like an inside joke between you and them. However, their lyrics aren’t oversimplified, they still manage to cover a wide variety of topics, from only wanting to be friends with a desiring male, “Be Your Bro,” to discussing and giving a testament about the evils of money, “$.”

The same can be said for the sound of the group; it goes a variety of places while still staying under the giant umbrella of garage, be it the pop, rock or punk variety. On “Let U Down,” there is a poppy vibe in the beginning that carries through the 70’s guitar riffs spliced though the tune. Later on comes “Tina Said,” whose guttural guitars and bobbing bass lines twist it to a darker, yet still jamming beat. “Fatty Needs a Fix” is a start to finish punk race that is molded by its quick-witted words and precision drumming, but don’t forget to stick around for Dutchess & the Duke—esque “Waste Away.” Such diversity will allow Those Darlins to bridge the gap between forgettable and kick ass.

At the end of Screws Get Loose, there is a bit of silence and then a guitar solo layered upon the melody of the first song, prompting you to go back to the beginning and start again. As the band intended, I suggest you do the same; this will surely be an album that you will play over and over.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Those-Darlins-Screws-Get-Loose.mp3]

Download: Those Darlins – Screws Get Loose [MP3]

2009 Top 50 Albums

bestof2009cover_albums

Creating a Top 50 Albums list is never easy.  You have to battle with what you think the world believes, and what you truly believe in your heart, to be solid jams.  We have even more trouble because we have to three writers, all who have different ideas, and we have to make those ideas fit into a neat box.  Well, we got it done, and honestly, our criteria was based on two things: how great we thought the album was, artistically speaking, and how long we listened to it without getting bored.  That’s it. It’s fool proof; you might not like it, but it’s our list, so here it is… Read more

12/12 – The Dutchess and the Duke @ The Mohawk

dutchessduke08This here is a story of heartbreak, a story of fallen heroes.  The Dutchess and the Duke made their way once again into Austin amongst strong praise for their recent release Sunset/Sunrise.  Our expectations were high, and we promoted the show as best we could, hoping many would see the greatness that was D&D.  Unfortunately, the night fell far short of our expectations, or mine at least.  Follow the jump for full review and photos.

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FT50: Songs of 2009

bestof2009cover_songsWe have to start this list off with a disclaimer.  We have three writers, all with different tastes, so the list should reflect that a little bit.  Also, these are our opinions, and by no means, are they meant to be seen as an “end all be all” to the question of what were the best songs of 2009.  That being said, we like our list quite a bit.  Sure, it’s got some expected numbers at the top, but the rest of the list is genius.  We’ve got some of the songs streaming for you, and the rest take you straight to youtube.  Follow the jump for full list.

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Contest: Dutchess & The Duke @ Mohawk

ATHpresents_d&dWe promised you a contest and here ya go!  For starters, you should already know that ATH fave Dutchess & The Duke are making their way to the Mohawk on December 12th.  If you’d like to attend the show with a friend, listen up as the details for this contest are very simple.  Simply leave us a comment or hit us up on twitter with your favorite D&D song and why.  That’s it!  Two lucky winners will receive a spot on the guest list with a +1 for that special someone.  We’ll hit you guys up over the weekend if you win so be sure to leave a valid email address.

ATH Presents: Dutchess & The Duke

ATHpresents_d&dHooray!  We are now happy to anounce a killer show we will be helping out with at Mohawk in December.  One of our favorite bands of last year (#1 to be exact) Dutchess & The Duke are returning to Austin on December 12th and we couldn’t be more excited.  They will be joined on the stage by two other buzz bands: Oakland’s own Greg Ashley and Denton, TX boys Fergus & GeronimoThe last time D&D were in Austin they played as an acoustic duo, but word has it that they are now touring with a full band to bring the rock!  Tickets will only run ya $8 so we really don’t know why you wouldn’t be there…  Plus it’s a Saturday night!  Check out some previews of this show with an album review of D&D’s debut album of 2008, one for their more recent LP Sunset/Sunrise, or an interview we ran the last time they made it to town.  Stay tuned for more details and a possible contest for tickets to the show.  In the meantime, check out one of our favorite songs from last year “Reservoir Park” and what will surely be in our top songs for this year “The River”.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/01-reservoir-park.mp3]

Download: Dutchess & The Duke – Reservoir Park [MP3]

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/10-The-River.mp3]

Download: The Dutchess and the Duke – The River [MP3]

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